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About Mel
My full name is Melissa C. Krauss and I have been involved with digital art for a number of years. My current location is in Reading, PA, about 30 miles outside the heartland of Lancaster County farmlands, and 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia, PA.
The city lies in a valley between Penn Mountain and Neversink Mountain, and extends up along the sides of each mountain. Most of the city is surrounded by forest, with a number of homes tucked inside wooded areas. In this part of the state you will find valleys, fields and farms that are surrounded by rolling hills, lush, green, primeval forests and mountains. In the distance, to the west and north, lie even more rugged mountains. An entrance for the Appalachian Trail can be found about 30 miles northeast of my home. It is a beautiful area, and much of my inspiration for design and artwork comes from my surroundings.

Over the course of my life I have gained a unique perspective from my occupations, including some time spent as a professional horse trainer. I have extensive experience in customer service and sales; my last position in that field was with a large corporation specializing in electronics. While employed with this company I discovered computers, the internet and all the fascinating possibilities unfolding at our fingertips. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I stumbled (quite by accident) into the world of digital illustration and web design. I was completely hooked.

I am known in some online communities under several pseudonyms, such as justmel and darkermusings. All my artwork is signed M. C. Krauss. A favorite hobby of mine involved fictional writing for online forums, specifically the fantasy genre. I try to bring to my artwork many of the visions inspired by those years. I enjoy writing, hiking, reading, cooking, the arts, and I have a very vivid imagination. I am happiest in the woods.


When I am not sitting in front of my computer, I am often roaming the mountain forest behind my house with Hugo, our Great Pyrenees dog, much to his delight. I share the house with my husband and son, a rather possessive cat named Harry, who grudgingly shares me with Hugo and May, a fawn colored Puggle. I have 2 girls and a son, having been blessed with three wonderful children. I am also a grandmother to a darling little girl. When my children were young, I referred to them as my "littlest angels." I am a fairly private person, preferring to keep the details of my life off the web in as much as is humanly possible, in this day and age. But I wrote down a few details about myself and my life here.

"Art is art, it is perception, vision and passion; it is the unfettered expression of our souls. And it is all beautiful, each in its own way. We should never forget that."